Pilates is spreading
Pilates has captured the public imagination over the last few years. Aerobics was popular throughout the 1980’s. In the 1990’s, step became all the rage.
However, since the turn of the new Millennium, the growth of yoga and other mindful-based exercises have indicated a shift in how we choose to take care of our bodies.
Higher intensity exercises certainly have their place, but there is now an increasing awareness of the need for good muscle balance and improved posture.
In general, exercise has become more scientific, and there is a now a greater emphasis on holistic health. We take a closer look at this paradigm shift.
A brief history of Pilates
Contrary to what many people may think, this exercise modality is not a new fad. It’s origins date back almost a century. It was founded by a German immigrant to the U.S. named Joseph Pilates. Joe had suffered from asthma as a child, as well as a range of other ailments. He turned to exercise and athletics in an attempt to counter-act his conditions.
Joe was strongly influenced by the Greek ideal that we should look to achieve a balance between body, mind and spirit. During the early stages of its development, the method was used to help rehabilitate soldiers that had been injured during the first world war. A series of pulleys and other contraptions were put together by attaching springs to hospital beds.
Joe helped all types of clients, from boxers to opera singers, and gained invaluable insights into breathing techniques, posture and body balance. Although he did work with dancers, it is actually a myth that Pilates was developed specifically for them.
The benefits of Pilates
Pilates doesn’t just have the expected benefits, two aspects of the discipline are often overlooked. As we can see from the history, the creative force behind it was honourable. It was not created as a commercial venture, unlike a lot of the exercise classes that are around today.
There is a lot of emphasis on good technique, during studio based sessions clients are often supervised on a one to one basis. This means exercises are carried out with proper form. As they say, practice doesn’t make perfect, ‘perfect practice’ does.
And of course, it has a deserved reputation for helping to establish a strong core. This is essential as the perfect antidote to the negative effects of sitting at a desk all day. It also has the added benefit of giving a flatter look to the stomach.
Many traditional weight training systems tend to cause the body to build short, bulky muscles. Pilates on the other hand, elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
It promotes better muscle balance, and for this reason, it is can be used as base conditioning for sport.
As always, it essential to work with well qualified and experienced teachers, in order to make the most of your time.
We hope this information was useful for you. If you have any questions about it or about our treatments, please contact us. We are in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help.